EPA Abandons Urban Sustainability

by Green Jobs Ready on April 19, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently decided to move its region 7 headquarters from their current downtown (public transit accessible) location to the suburban (car required) area 20 minutes outside the city.

The downtown location, situated in Kansas City, Kansas, was built specifically to house the EPA. The building was constructed to the highest environmental standards at the time, and served as a model of sustainable building in the downtown area. The presence in the city has been a boon to urban development by providing green jobs and a revitalization of the areas buildings. The placement in the downtown area is in line with the government’s standards of which encourage government agencies to function in central cities and population dense areas.

However, their moving to a new location is in direct opposition to these exact same environmental standards. With the relocation the over 700 employees, who work at the regions office, will be forced to drive everyday to and from work instead of taking public transportation. This will amount to an everyday increase in emissions caused by the EPA, the very agency that is supposed to be combating global warming.

Many residents of Kansas are annoyed at the agency’s decision. They see the relocation as an abandonment of not only the principles of the agency but the downtown urban areas they are supposed to help fund sustainability projects in. Former Kansas Senator Bob Dole outlined his objections to the move in an article in the Kansas City Star where he criticizes the organization for abandoning the building he helped to have built for them.

Despite the advances the EPA has made for the green movement, this hypocritical move needs to be checked. How can an organization promote sustainability and combat global warming when they are not practicing what they preach? The EPA needs to be setting an example on environmental issues for other government agencies and corporations to follow, this move is not the right example to set.

A more in depth look at this topic can be found here.

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